Pamban To Become India’s First Railway Bridge To Use Stainless Steel Structure

In its quest to modernize and upgrade the railway infrastructure, the Indian Railways has decided to deploy stainless steel for its visionary Pamban railway bridge project. Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RV-NL), Chennai, the extended engineering arm of Indian Railways, included SS 2205 duplex stainless steel grade as an integral component for the fabrication of 4 spans/girders of the new Pamban Bridge. To kick start this project, RVNL has floated a tender for supply of 120 MT of stainless steel. With this, stainless steel has made its ground-breaking debut as a key material for the structural railway bridge framework.

Compared to carbon steel, duplex stainless steel is an optimum techno-commercial solution to avoid corrosion in this engineering marvel. SS 2205 duplex grade of stainless steel has an excellent combination of strength, toughness and corrosion resistance. Given the inherently high strength-to-weight ratio of duplex stainless steel, it provides the possibility of reducing the thickness of the components, thereby entailing a lighter structure. With lesser weight of the structure, the consumption of concrete will also see a significant reduction. Along with high resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion, even in the most corrosive environment, duplex stainless steel provides excellent impact and fire resistance.

On account of its extremely high corrosion resistance, duplex stainless steel can be used in unpainted condition, requiring minimal maintenance. This results in saving heavy recurring maintenance costs. Moreover, usage of duplex stainless steel will improve the structural life of the bridge by 3 to 4 times, as compared to the currently used carbon steel. Thus, overall, usage of duplex stainless steel provides the least life cycle cost as compared to any other alternative material.